Plans Evolve For Rainey Street’s Waller Center

Plans Evolve For Rainey Street’s Waller Center

waller_center_austin_Rainey_full

Here are the latest revisions to the 3 acre Waller Center plan – an ambitious project that stretches along the east bank of Waller Creek, from E Cesar Chavez to Davis Street.

The updated renderings (below) give a more comprehensive vision for the massing of three distinct towers, and how they could be best be oriented.  According to the ABJ‘s interview with development firm, The Sutton Company, their target is to submit plans to the City of Austin for approval by late November

waller_center_austin_Rainey_site_sat

Here’s what we know about the goals of the project:

  • Tower A is a 21 story office building
  • Tower B is a 46 story residential tower
  • Tower C is a 38 story mixed use Tower
  • Target FAR is 10:1
  • 26,000 ft retail (possibly grocery store)

Checkout the images below.

[Read more...]





It’s Open!  No Va Kitchen and Bar on Rainey Street

It’s Open! No Va Kitchen and Bar on Rainey Street

no-va-rainey-exterior-front

I’ve been watching 87 Rainey for some time, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting to try No Va Kitchen and Bar since I first saw the TABC notice on the door in May 2012.

Well, it’s finally open, and I had the chance to try it last night.  Despite the name, the restaurant / bar concept is a definite go.

So many things to like!  First off, there’s a celebrity chef component (Brad Sorenson of The Next Food Network Star fame), AND he’s really friendly! Second, more FOOD on Rainey (which, as a Rainey resident, is very near and dear to my heart and stomach).  The food is tasty and not crazy expensive!

[Read more...]





Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey

Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey

skyhouse-atlanta-austin-houston

If you are looking for a new downtown apartment to rent come late November 2013, Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey Street across from the Milago Condos may be a viable option.

They’ve been on our radar lately, most notably because of the recent announcement confirming that Royal Blue Grocery will be occupying a large part of the ground floor frontage, which will be a HUGE add to the Rainey Street District (we’re excited about the Salvage Pizza, too!).

I personally also think this is an interesting apartment development because Novare and Batson-Cook are building / have built, for all intents and purposes, the EXACT same building (the footprints of the units are a little smaller in the Austin iteration) in two other major southern cities that I’ve lived in – Houston and Atlanta.

Prices for the Skyhouse Austin [Read more...]





Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

downtown-austin-news-roundup

It’s official: Rainey St getting a grocer, pizzeria

Exalted sighs of relief erupted among residents in the Rainey Street District, which includes yours truly, with the recent announcement that we are getting proper food establishments… the kind open before 4pm.

Royal Blue Grocery will add a fifth location to its collection of neighborhood grocery stores with a 2,550 square foot location fronting on Rainey Street at the base of the SkyHouse apartment tower.  Salvation Pizza will open its second Austin location, bringing authentic New Haven style pizza there too.

Don’t get me wrong, the food trucks are great but sometimes you just want a simple morning coffee.

Brazos benches yanked out

If you haven’t noticed yet, there are a few less benches along Brazos Street around 6th Street.  The city took decisive action after businesses and residents in the area banded together to demand a solution to the vagrants camping along there and harassing passers-by.   In all, 23 benches were taken out, cleaned and put in storage to live somewhere else another day.

(Disclosure: I voted in favor of supporting a letter to remove the benches as a board member of DANA)

According to a pretty darn good report from KXAN, “The city’s sit/lie ordinance, where loiterers are asked to move, does not apply to benches. It only applies to planters and sidewalks. One business owner said he was calling police for help about six times a day.”

Dell Medical School prep-construction starts this fall

The University of Texas is losing no time getting to work on its ambitious medical district master plan.

Earlier this week, UT officials spent their evening at City Hall, first getting the Urban Transportation Commission’s blessing to move Red River, then a couple hours later sailing through the Planning Commission.

UT officials told the Planning Commission that they plan to get the road reconstruction and utility relocation started this fall, and that sometime between 2014 and 2015 Red River would be closed to through traffic while work is underway.

Transportation Director Rob Spillar promised at the meeting that the campus would focus on bike and pedestrian ease-of-use, not car-centric plans. (Note to Bill Powers: Careful with those benches!)





A Development Map of Rainey Street

A Development Map of Rainey Street

Rainey Street Poster

News and stories about Rainey Street’s neighborhood growth is often scattered and disparate, so we thought it would be helpful for the casual development-watcher to see everything on one map.

The image below shows what is coming down the pike.  You can click on the map to get a full size version.  DAB will continue to update the map as we get new intel.

 

Rainey Street Poster

Rainey Street Development





Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

hotel-van-zandt-site

It’s for real this time.  Planned in 2006 as a sister development to the Shore Condos, which shares the southern part of the site, the Hotel Van Zandt was originally going to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope of the development was reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel.

JMI, the developer of the hotel, told the ABJ in March that June was their target month to break ground.  Bulldozers began clearing the site this morning.

Here are target dates for the construction:

  • Start date: July 2, 2013
  • Subterranean excavation now through November 2013
  • Install tower crane in October of 2013
  • Concrete structural frame of hotel: Up to ground level in January 2014
  • Pool deck level poured in March 2014
  • Building tops out at level 16 in July 2014
  • Construction Completion in March 2015
hotelvanzandt-begins construction

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

hotelvanzandt-begins construction2

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

render by WDG

Hotel Van Zandt render by WDG





Lets Hug It Out: Rainey Street Traffic

Lets Hug It Out: Rainey Street Traffic

rainey-photo

With the increasing amount of construction happening in the Rainey Street District, I think we have seen the last of the Google Villages and such taking the neighborhood over – at least for a while.

I’m going to lay out a summary of the transportation plan here first, then drop my two cents in the bucket on the drama surrounding it.

What to expect

City staff have settled on maintaining two-way traffic on the street, and adding sidewalks where there is not existing development taking place. The east side of the street will retain on-street, metered parking, while the west side (on the right side if you are facing the river) will be converted into a striped area with pedicab pick-ups and bike parking.

Once the sidewalks are built out, the city may move forward with converting that striped area into bike lanes.

The city will convert the turning circle into a “modern roundabout” – like this one at Rio Grande and 10th Street.  The city also plans to install speed humps (not speed bumps) and up the ante on the navigational signs in and around the area.

[Read more...]





Downtown News and Rumor Round-up

Downtown News and Rumor Round-up

downtown-austin-news-roundup

Rainey Street District hotel breaking ground next month?

If you’ve been around downtown Austin since 2006, you’ve been hearing about the Hotel Van Zandt.

It was a sister development to the Shore Condos, sharing the northern end of the site.  Hotel Van Zandt was initially planned to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope has been reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel component.

We’ve heard all of this before. Developers are now telling the Statesman they plan to get going next month. This is the same thing they told the ABJ in March, which is a sign that it is indeed ready to roll.

Hotel Van Zandt was initially planned to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope has been reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel component.

Statesman has more

New Travis County courthouse up for debate

Courtmap

The ongoing debate for whether or not Travis County will enter into a deal for a public-private partnership to build a new courthouse downtown could be coming to a head.

Recently, the Statesman profiled some of the issues associated with the project, and on Tuesday the Commissioner Court talked to the finalists for the deal: URS and Broaddus and Associates.

The court did not take a vote when it discussed it at a hearing this past Tuesday, but is taking the issue back up this Tuesday.

The new courthouse could rise 17 stories next to Republic Square. Earlier this year, commissioners decided they will hold a bond election to finance the courthouse, but no date is certain.

If the deal ever falls through, or the public does not approve the bonds, it would put a lot that is not encumbered by capitol view limits back into the private market.

Statesman has more

Austin is a finalist to host the X Games

ESPN announced that Austin is one of four finalists to host the 2014, 2015 and 2016 X Games. The games would be held at the Circuit of the Americas, but without a doubt, we can expect something related downtown. If – of course – Austin ends up taking the cake.

For the record, I think it will.

Austin is competing with Chicago, Detroit, and Charlotte, N.C. I think both COTA and Gov. Perry will roll out the red carpet and offer just as competative package of any tax breaks the other cities and states can offer. From a ticketing and marketing perspective, the folks at ESPN must know that Austin is going to have the best draw among the kids and also know that marketing machines like Nike and Samsung already have the ground troops and past experience to tackle Austin from a marketing perspective, due to SXSW.

ESPN is sending envoys here next month and expects to pick a winner this summer.

KXAN has more

The saga of an expensive parking garage coming to a close?

For you readers who are devotees of downtown palace intrigue, the saga of Whittington v. City of Austin could finally be coming to a close.

The case started almost a decade ago, in relation to the public-private partnership the city got into to build the Hilton next to the convention center. The city seized Harry’s downtown lot and he sued them for it.

After a series of trials, the case made it all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court, which sided with the city.

Got to give it to the man, he knows how to dig in and raise hell. Although, he must have asked himself several times over the past few years: What would that lot have been worth today if the city hadn’t tied it up in litigation 10 years ago?

Maybe now, they will put all of that vacant retail space, which wraps the ground level of the garage, to good use.

ABJ has more





Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS ® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 10/22/14 2:13 PM PDT. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided “AS IS” and with all faults. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Information being provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2014.